In the News: The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) announced that Kirstenbosch-South Africa has received another GOLD medal at the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is taking place in London from 22 – 26 May 2018.
Kirstenbosch has done South Africa proud at the world’s most prestigious flower show
Leon Kluge, SANBI’s new designer, is overjoyed:
“It was an experience compared to none representing South Africa at the world’s most prestigious flower show, the Chelsea Flower Show. Winning an award is an added bonus. Me and my team hope that we made South Africa proud and that we convinced many, many people here in Europe to visit our magnificent diverse country.”
SANBI Board Chairperson Nana Magomola and CEO Dr Moshibudi Rampedi, both at the Chelsea Flower Show this morning, praised the team for the superb work they have done in presenting South Africa’s unique biodiversity to the world.
“Once again SANBI – Kirstenbosch has done South Africa proud,” said Nana Magomola. Our 36th gold medal in 43 years of participating at the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show! Greater thanks to our new designers, Leon Kluge and Chris Randlehoff, and our volunteers who worked hard to make the exhibit a success. From SANBI, Mpendulo Gabayi of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and Ricardo Riddles of the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden , thank you for your contribution to this year’s exhibit. Well done, you stand on the shoulders of giants who came before you.”
Our team has presented many facets of the beauty and diversity of South Africa’s floral kingdom and cultures,” Dr Rampedi said.
Leon Kluge took over the reins from multi-award winning designers – David Davidson and Raymond Hudson, who designed and created the Kirstenbosch-South Africa Chelsea Flower Show exhibit for 24 years.
The theme of this year’s Kirstenbosch–South Africa Chelsea Flower Show exhibit, and Kluge’s first design, is Iconic Landscapes. The exhibit takes the viewer on a journey around the sub-continent, where the designer has taken a rather light-hearted approach to the style in which the landscapes are presented, by using the very powerful and iconic forms of contemporary township art that depict cultural life in these landscapes.
Kluge was in the area of Khayelitsha photographing arum lilies, where he got inspired by the view of Table Mountain with the houses of Khayelitsha in the foreground, blending in with the landscape of indigenous flora. He then saw this blend of nature and culture depicted in the colourful creations of the local crafters. This is where he met Elmon Muringani, a crafter in the area since 2006, whom he invited to create the art work that forms the backdrop of the exhibit. The backdrop was produced at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town, where Muringani and his team crafted scenes out of recycled materials.
The exhibit starts off with Cape Town and its Table Mountain National Park, often associated with the Cape Floral Region or fynbos biome, then travels northwards along the West Coast with its very different vegetation of succulent forms and the architectural styles that make this home to the West Coast fishermen, and then moves north of the country to Limpopo, Gauteng and Mpumulanga with its own unique and diverse flora.
SANBI’s team in London consists of designer Leon Kluge and assistant-designer Chris Randlehoff from Leon Kluge Garden Design, SANBI’s Mpendulo Gabayi (horticulturist at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden), Ricardo Riddles (horticulturist at Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden) and Lihle Dlamini (Marketing Director for SANBI), as well as a team of dedicated volunteers: Rentia Hobbs, Annalie Skein, Linda Keevy, Norah de Wet and Roben Penny.
The Chelsea Flower Show is visited by 160 000 people annually. This year’s show takes place from 22 to 26 May.
Press Release Issued by Sarah Struys – Events and Tourism Manager: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
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